Art Expectations The End! (not really)



YES! I have finally finished Dickens’ Great Expectations and my art-per-page project. I do want to keep this blog going, but as of now, unsure what I will tackle next. I’ll think of something soon! My reasons for creating this blog and this particular project:

  • Re-read Great Expectations:  DONE! (I enjoyed it in high school and it’s as good and timeless as it has ever been.)
  • Experiment with new materials:  DONE! (Pan Pastels, alcohol inks, distress inks, Gelatos, stencils, sprays, marbling, gelli plate printing, stamp carving, altered books, collage, 3D printing, clay, various paints, inks, markers, pens and substrates)
  • Experiment with different styles:  DONE! (I have my own “look” but I wanted to branch out and try different styles. So it may look as if I have multiple personalities! That may be true anyway  :0)
  • Admired Matt Kish’s Moby-Dick and Heart of Darkness projects. I borrowed this idea from him. So I want to give credit to his ingenious idea and amazing work. Check him out here:

Thank you to everyone who has followed, commented and critiqued along the way. Till next time, let no shadows part between us!


Art Expectations 368 Biddy


Biddy Bides Her Time

Here’s another scratchy painting using horrible brushes. It’s really not my style, but I enjoyed doing these. The whole reason for doing this project was to try new media and styles. And to reread this great book! Very, very slowly… I’ve made a mockery of this 365 Day Art Project, doing a post a day  🙂

{Day 368 Page 394}  Apparently the debt collector men are not successful in taking Pip because he remains in his bed at the Temple, tossing and turning. He is still seeing Joe in his dreams. One day he gets the courage to ask, ‘Is it Joe?’ It is! Pip asks Joe to yell at him for being so ungrateful. Joe just lies down in bed with him, putting his arm around him. Pip’s parents died when he was young. His sister and Joe were married and together they raised him. Joe was always so kind to Pip. His sister, not so much. She never recovered from a bad attack (by Orlick) and died. Around this time, Pip was offered his Great Expectations and moved to London to become a gentleman. He soon forget (or tried to forget) Joe, Biddy and his childhood life. Joe tells Pip that he had received a letter about Pip’s illness. Biddy had said ‘Go to him without loss of time.’

Art Expectations 364-366 Fever Dreams



She's Alive!

Great Expectations Sketch

It’s a lot to take in, three pages at once. These three sketches are also from the road. Getting closer to the end!

{Day 364 Page 389} The 32 accused are all formally doomed, sentenced to death. Some need help walking out, some saunter out with haggard bravery and some shake hands with others. The audience looks down on them, pointing and accusing. Pip prays that Magwitch will die on his own before the sentence is carried out. In the meantime, Pip spends his time writing appeals, explaining that Magwitch came back to London on his behalf. He reaches out to men of authority, the Home Secretary of State and even to the Crown. He is restless and wanders the streets at night, hoping his letters of appeal are working. He is not able to visit Magwitch as much now. The guards are not hard on him or on Magwitch. What would be the point? They chat with Pip about Magwitch’s worsening condition.

{Day 365 Page 390} Magwitch lies in his cell looking placidly at the ceiling. Sometimes he is unable to speak. Ten days have passed since his sentencing. He thanks Pip for not deserting him. Pip lays his hand on Magwitch’s chest and tells him there is something he must tell him. ‘You had a child once, whom you loved and lost.’ Magwitch squeezes Pip’s hand in acknowledgment. ‘She lived and found powerful friends. She is living now. She is a lady and very beautiful. And I love her!’ Remember that Magwitch is Estella’s father. Her mother is the maid for Jaggers. Wow. It’s a little confusing.

{Day 366 Page 391} After Pip tells Magwitch that his daughter is alive and well, Magwitch raises Pip’s hand to his lips and then back on his chest. A placid look comes again to his face and he passes away. Hopefully he died happy. Pip says, ‘O Lord, be merciful to him, a sinner.’  Chapter 57 starts. Pip gives notice of his plan to leave his home at the Temple. He won’t be able to afford it much longer. He starts to look seriously at his debt (finally!) and becomes alarmed. He has ignored his own health while caring for Magwitch. And the stress has taken its toll on him.  He falls into a fitful sleep, having feverish dreams. He dreams of groping for his boat in the dark (it’s sunk at the bottom of the river), someone coming up the stairs after him and seeing Miss Havisham burning in his fireplace. Horrific!

Art Expectations 318-20 Singed



Here are THREE days in one! I did all three of these in a little paper accordion book.
{Day 318 Page 340}  Pip has been visiting Miss Havisham and settling up (with money and feelings). Pip is wandering the ruined grounds of Satis House. Before walking out through the rotting gate, for perhaps the last time, he looks back and has a vision of her hanging from a beam. Horrified, he runs back in, up to her room, to check on her. She seems fine still sitting by the fire. But all of a sudden she bursts up and toward him on fire! Her brittle bridal gown has caught on fire. He covers her with his coats (he has on two) and rolls on the ground to put out the flames. He also pulls the dusty tablecloth off the great table, disturbing the moldy cake, to cover her. The fire is out. He looks to the side and sees beetles and spiders scampering away and bits of singed bridal dress floating in air.

{Day 319 Page 341}  Servants rush in to see Pip still on top of Miss H. “Patches of tinder that had been her garments, no longer alight but falling in a black shower around us.” A doctor is called to come tend to her wounds. They make a bed for her on top of the great table. (Many years ago she claimed that she’d lie deceased on that table some day!) She’s not dead yet, just seriously burned. Her bridal dress is gone but replaced by more white cloth, gauze and sheets. Pip informs her family, the Pockets. The doctor is left to tell Estella, who was at that time in Paris. Miss H deliriously repeats her last words to Pip. “What have I done!” And the statement about meaning to save Estella from the same misery she has felt. Also asking Pip to forgive her, which he did.

{Day 320 Page 342}  Pip leaves early in the morning about 6:00 a.m. after giving Miss H a farewell kiss.
Chapter 50:  Pip was badly burned on his arms and hands. He is bandaged up to his shoulder on one arm and elbow on the other. Back at the Temple in London, Herbert helps Pip with his injuries. Pip is deeply grateful. He finds his memories of the fire, the smell and cries, more painful than the actual wounds. Herbert informs Pip that all is well down the river, meaning Magwitch (also known as Provis). With Pip’s arms and hands injured now he won’t be able to continue with the rowing to prepare for sneaking Magwitch out of town on the river.

I’m still moving slowly on this long project. I don’t think I’ll be finished by end of this year BUT I’m getting close! I’ve been wanting to try traditional marbling of paper. So I think I will order myself some new supplies today and give that a try. I’ll incorporate that into my work if successful. See you soon!

Art Expectations 301/302 River


301 GreatExp floating 150302 GreatExp sad 150

[Day 301 Page 323] After leaving Clara’s home, Pip goes solemnly home alone. He sees no one spying on him or hanging about the Temple. Herbert comes home later. Pip obtains a little row-boat and stores it by his staircase. He starts rowing on a regular basis, as planned, to avoid suspicion in case he needs to quickly row Magwitch out of town. Herbert goes along sometimes. They pass by Mill Pond Bank, Clara’s home and where Magwitch is hiding out. (I believe this is downstream from the Temple.) Pip still feels as if he is being watched but has yet to see anyone following him. He is “always full of fears for the rash man who was in hiding.” Herbert admits that he often looks at the river fondly and thinks of it flowing toward Clara. Pip thinks with dread of it flowing toward Magwitch! {Chapter 47} They continue in this pattern of daily rowing down and up the river. Herbert visits Clara and Mill Pond Bank about three times a week. They patiently await word for what to do from Wemmick.

[Day 302 Page 324] Pip starts to feel the loss of Magwitch’s money. He had sent the unopened pocketbook back to Magwitch, deciding not to spend any more of the man’s money. He even sold some pieces of jewelry to help make ends meet. He starts to wonder if Estella has become a married woman to Drummle. He avoids newspapers and tells Herbert to never speak of her to him. He is in a “state of constant restlessness and suspense.” He lives an unhappy life. While out rowing, occasionally he has to leave the boat at a dock to be brought back to him later due to low tide. When he does this, he leaves the boat and walks back to the Temple, stopping off somewhere along the way for dinner. I recently took a long road trip to Colorado (Beautiful!) with the family. I decided to make use of this time in the car (while not driving of course) to work on my blog artwork. These next 10 drawings were done somewhere along a long stretch of nothing (desert road), using only pencil, pen and a few colored pencils. I used leftover cardboard from a box of cat food. It sure made time pass quickly!

Art Expectations Day 300!


300 GreatExp shipyards 150

[Day 300 Page 322] Finally! Close to the finish line… I can see the light at the end of this book!

Pip agrees to start rowing on a regular basis down the river and back so it will look like a normal outing when he finally goes to take Provis down the river, out of town. No one will suspect anything unusual. Should Provis spot him while he’s out on his practice river trips, he should not acknowledge him. Herbert and Pip leave Provis in his upstairs room at the Barley’s home and head back downstairs where Clara and Mrs. Whimple are seated at work. (knitting, mending, washing, polishing?) Herbert tells Pip that Provis is staying under the assumed name of Mr. Campbell. Despite the growling Mr. Barley, Pip leaves thinking fondly of this place in the shipyards, Clara’s family home. There’s the motherly Mrs. Whimple, the sweet, doe-eyed Clara, his good friend Herbert and Provis, whom he now feels responsible for.

And, yes, again, another doodle sketch from the online class. It’s the jumble of the shipyards with Clara’s home on the river in the top right with Pip rowing by in an orange skiff. Provis taking flight as a man-bird and a rugged, bearded, solemn-faced Pip. He has a lot of decisions to make and he’s no longer a child being taken care of by someone else.

To my fellow Americans, Happy Fourth of July!

Art Expectations 233 Garden Guilt



[Day 233, Page 251]

Pip gets Wemmick alone out in the garden. Now is his chance to ask Wemmick’s opinion, again, about giving money to Herbert Pocket to help him out in his business pursuits and with his debt. Pip feels guilty because perhaps he’s helped Herbert gain that debt. He also possibly stole Miss Havisham’s great expectations away from Herbert. AND he still feels guilty about winning the fight against Herbert in her garden so long ago. Wemmick says he’ll think about it. He’ll ask Miss Skiffins’ brother, an accountant, for his advice and help. Pip states that Herbert must never know where the money comes from. (Just like him!)

Art Expectations 228 A Stare Down



[Day 228, Page 246]

Pip asks Jaggers, again, if his benefactor will be revealed to him soon. No. They have a stare-down. Jaggers goes on to say that once the person comes forward, his (Jaggers’) job in this matter will cease and it will be between Pip and his patron to settle things up. What will Pip “owe” this person? His soul? Repay the money somehow? Forced to marry Estella? He loves her, though he knows she is no good for him.

Art Expectations 226 Head Casts



[Day 226, Page 244]

Right on time on his 21st birthday, Pip is greeted by Wemmick and then Jaggers.  He notices that the two ghastly head casts are still there, looking on, in Jaggers’s office. Jaggers asks Pip if he is aware of how much money he has been spending. Nope. That’s what Jaggers thought.  Pip then asks Jaggers if his benefactor will be revealed to him today. Nope. However, he does have something for Pip! What can it be?!

Art Expectations Day 190, Page 206


190 GreatExp winePip150

HALF-WAY THROUGH THE BOOK! When I started this project, almost two years ago, I marked the half-way point, page 206. I really thought I’d have reached that page sooner! But, here I am, two years later. Doesn’t matter. It’s been great fun and I will see it through until the end, the very last page, page 412… even if it takes another two years!

Page 206:   Jaggers tells Pip that since the jilting at the altar, no one has seen Miss Havisham eat or drink. Pip also finds out that Estella’s last name is Havisham. (She was adopted by Miss H.) Jaggers and Pip join Estella and the green-with-envy Sarah Pocket at the dinner table for a very nice meal. During dinner Pip notices that Jaggers goes out of his way to NOT look at Estella. He answers her questions but will not look at her. Odd. He also goes out of his way to make Sarah Pocket even more jealous of Pip’s great expectations (fortunes). Pip and Jaggers leave to go have a drink – ladies not invited. During this man-time, Pip is very uncomfortable, as Jaggers stares into his wine glass and makes it clear that he does not wish to converse with Pip. (Was there something between Jaggers and Estella?)